ILC NewsLine
Federation beyond policy difference

Speech from Masatoshi Koshiba at the meeting. from left: Hatoyama, Yosano, Saito, Kawamura, Koshiba, Naito, Suzuki(KEK), Nishioka(MHI).

Hori(left) and Omi(right) attending the meeting.

Many people attended the meeting

from left: Tamura, Sasaki(Gakushuin Univ.), Yoshii, and Noda.

A day before Japanese cabinet reshuffling, Diet members and other senior government officials took time out from their busy schedule to attend the inaugural meeting of newly formed "Federation of Diet members to promote the realisation of ILC" with a group with representatives from all political parties in Japan: Liberal Democratic party (LDP), Democratic party of Japan (DPJ), New Komeito (NK), Social Democratic Party (SDP), The People's New Party (PNP), and Japanese Communist Party (JCP). The federation's letter of intent describes its aim the promotion of the ILC project recognising that particle physics, as a research field with no ethnical, national or ideological borders, is the essential part of the nation's basic science research strategy.

Fifteen Diet members are listed as founders: Akihiro Ohata (DPJ), Koji Omi (LDP), Ikuo Kamei (PNP), Takeo Kawamura (LDP), Tetsuo Saito (NK), Yoshiaki Takagi (DPJ), Norihisa Tamura (LDP), Masamitsu Naito (DPJ), Yoshihiko Noda (DPJ), Yukio Hatoyama (DPJ), Fumihiro Himori (SDP), Kosuke Hori (LDP), Eisuke Mori (LDP), Kaoru Yosano (LDP), and Hidekatsu Yoshii (JCP).

The meeting was chaired by Tamura, who has played an active role in the federation by LDP. Hatoyama, former Head of DPJ, said “I heard that particles collide with each other and create something new in the physics world. That would be same in the human world,” insinuating at the difference in policy from LDP, the leading party, “but we should get together in Japan to promote this project.” Saito of NK described the ILC as "essential for Japan" to give a superior opportunity to contribute to the global prosperity. Yoshii from JCP thinks that building the ILC would be beyond national benefit: “We can call it human benefit. Now, politicians need to collaborate to realise it.” At the meeting, Yosano, the former chair of the federation, was elected as the Chair of new federation. “We would face difficulties on the way to realise the ILC with Japan being in a financially pressed situation, but we will take each step to overcome those difficulties uniting our strength,” he said in a gesture of his determination. Naito, who studied particle physics at Tokyo University with Hitoshi Murayama, Director General of the Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU), and who recently visited KEK, said that he is planning to visit DESY and CERN. Kawamura concluded his speech with his belief that research into the largest and the smallest things are now being unified and should be coordinated, like he stated at the Sendai GDE meeting.

The day after the inaugural meeting, three of the Federation founding members were appointed important positions. Yosano became the economic and fiscal policy minister, after holding various key posts, including chief Cabinet secretary, trade minister, education minister and the Liberal Democratic Party's policy chief. Saito was appointed new Environment Minister. He is a former engineer with a doctoral degree, who did research in space development. Hori, former Minister of Education, gained an LDP leadership post as Policy Research Council chief.

The members of the federation are planning to have a visit to J-PARC in Tokai village, and KEK. Japan's contribution can be expected to go one step further.

-- Rika Takahashi